File:Tradition-Warner-Highsmith.jpeg|thumb|300px|Olin Levi Warner, ''Tradition'' (1895). Bronze tympanum (architecture)|tympanum over the main entrance, Library of Congress, Thomas Jefferson Building, Washington, D.C.
A '''tradition''' is a belief
or behavior passed down within a group or society with symbolic meaning or special significance with origins in the past.
Common examples include holidays or impractical but socially meaningful clothes (like court dress|lawyers' wig
s or military officers' spur
s), but the idea has also been applied to social norms such as greetings. Traditions can persist and evolve for thousands of years—the word "tradition" itself derives from the Latin
''tradere'' or ''traderer'' literally meaning to transmit, to hand over, to give for safekeeping. While it is commonly assumed that traditions have ancient history, many traditions have been...